Erbil – The Kurdish President Masoud Barzani said on Saturday that the time has come to begin the Mosul operation.
“For a considerable amount of time, local and international media outlets have been reporting on the preparation for the Mosul operation which would drastically weaken the structure of the terrorists of the Islamic State. Indeed the Mosul operation is of enormous significance to the Kurdistan Region and it has been among the top priorities for the Kurdistan Region,” he said.
“It is therefore necessary to announce that the preparations for the operation to liberate Mosul have been completed and have paved the way to begin the operation,” Barzani said.
“The preparations were reached after an agreement between the Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi military forces. The military tasks and responsibilities were distributed in accordance to that agreement,” he said. “We thereby would like to reassure all the concerned parties that all of the Peshmerga forces of the Kurdistan Region shall remain committed to meticulously abide by the agreement. Additionally there is complete coordination between the Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi military forces in pursuit of preventing all undesired events.”
The Kurdish president pointed out that Baghdad and Erbil have also agreed to establish a joint higher political committee whose task would be to supervise the affairs of Mosul after the liberation. The Kurds had earlier expressed concern that Mosul could be mismanaged after its liberation due to the presence of Shia militias.
“It is my sincere hope that this operation will be successful and that we will collectively liberate the people of Mosul from the tyranny of the terrorists of the Islamic State. Furthermore, I hope for the safe return of the IDPs to the province of Nineveh,” Barzani concluded.
Brett McGurk, the US anti-ISIS coalition’s envoy said there is an unprecedented cooperation between the Kurds and the Iraqi army against ISIS, although there have been tensions between the Kurds and Shia militias.
“Unprecedented cooperation between Iraqi Security Forces and Kurdish Peshmerga as Mosul’s liberation nears,” he said on Twitter.
The Kurds are worried that they cannot deal with the flood of refugees that will come to the Kurdistan Region. The Mosul offensive could displace over a million people, the UN has warned, and most of them will be going to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
The Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) representative in Washington, Bayan Sami Abdulrahman, told ARA News that the Kurds are reaching their limits in hosting the refugees and displaced civilians, but will guarantee their safety.
“We recognize there is a limit, and we are very clear about the displacement from Mosul. We are not going to turn people away, and we recognize that people need to be safe, but we also recognize that we are at the limit of our capability,” Abdulrahman told ARA News, calling on the international community to assist the KRG.
“We can ensure that they [the people of Mosul] will be safe, but we don’t have the capacity to give food, shelter, or anything else. The UN, the international community have to do this,” she said.
Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News
For the latest news follow us on Twitter
Join our Weekly Newsletter